Trademarks and Brands

Branding News: From iHOP to IHOb

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

When US restaurant chain IHOP — the International House of Pancakes — recently started sending the message that its name was changing to "IHOb" it used a clever graphic that showed the "p" in its name flipping over to become a "b" to build up suspense about a new name.

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Topics: brands, names

Velcro Debuts Second Music Video Starring In-House Lawyers to Fight Misuse of Trademark

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

It was just last September that the Velcro Companies' singing legal department released a serious message about the generalization of trademarked brand names. It stressed that the VELCRO® Brand should not be used as verb or a noun — it should only be used when referring to the company's specific product. The video suggested other terminology like "self-fasteners" and "closures," or the company's preferred term, which is "hook and loop."

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Topics: Brand protection, trademark

The World's Most Enduring Brands

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 18 June, 2018

Have you ever wondered about those brands that endure over time — and how they accomplish it?

Fast Company Design recently featured an article about a Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA) study that reached out to professionals in nine industries for nominations, narrowed the list to 50, and then asked 5,000 US consumers for ratings. The branding agency then used the consumer insights gathered to develop an Enduring Brands Index, which pinpointed five essential traits that brands require in order to endure: self-aware, principled, deliberate, adaptive, and focused. Most importantly, the one key trait that all of the companies shared — the ability to successfully navigate change.

Here are more details on each of the traits the enduring brands displayed:

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Topics: branding, Brand protection

Centuries-old British Shipping Icon Subject of Trademark Dispute

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 14 June, 2018

Have you ever heard of the Plimsoll Line? If you aren't part of the world of shipping, you might be more familiar with the name "Plimsoll" used for a type of shoe (more on that later…)

The Plimsoll Line refers to the small circular image that appears on the hulls of ships around the world. The image — a painted circle bisected with a long horizontal line — is a marking that's designed to show whether a ship is overloaded. When the horizontal line is visible, the ship isn't at risk of sinking. If the line is not visible, well, there might be a problem.

The Plimsoll Line was devised by Samuel Plimsoll, an English politician and social reformer, who fought for merchant shipping regulation. Plimsoll's namesake load-marking image became mandatory on British ships when the United Kingdom Merchant Shipping Act of 1876 took effect. The Plimsoll Line later became standard worldwide.

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Topics: trademarks, trademark infringement

India Launches an Intellectual Property Mascot

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 13 June, 2018

Usually when we write about mascots, we're writing about the protection of their trademarks. From sports mascots (like Zabivaka for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Russia), to school mascots (how about the University of Wisconsin's Bucky Badger?), brand mascots (the Pillsbury Doughboy), or government agency mascots (Smokey the Bear), they all serve as important brand ambassadors. They create awareness, sometimes act as spokespeople, and appear in marketing campaigns and on merchandise.

But this time, we're writing about a new intellectual property mascot. The government of India has launched IP Nani— an intellectual property mascot to raise awareness about intellectual property rights. IP Nani is described as "a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson 'Chhotu' aka Aditya." At the introduction of the new mascot, India's Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu emphasized the need for all of society, including school-aged children, to be aware of the fundamentals of IP law and to be involved in efforts to protect against piracy.

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Topics: trademarks, Brand protection, intellectual property

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